Personally, I've never gotten caught up in all of the cuffing season hype. At least, not officially. The reason why I feel like I should clarify that point is because there is a past sex partner/jump off/homie-lover-friend—whatever you want to call him, who used to tell me that our bodies are automatically set on a "sex memory clock". Meaning, when it comes to the people who are a part of our intimacy's past, oftentimes they come to mind (or we might even have a craving for them) around the same time of year that we first met them and/or hooked up with them.
It's ironic that when it comes to the guy who said this, we started (cough, cough) hanging out during the month of October. And, for a few years following, every time ole' faithful October rolled around, we'd find ourselves, umm, "hanging out" again. Only in October. Until the following autumn.
Well now. Maybe I do—or at least did—participate in cuffing season more than I thought because the overall gist consists of being intentional about finding someone to "boo up" with, just in time for cold weather, office parties and the holiday season. And, as most of us know, all of this officially kicks off in the fall (if you're wondering how long it lasts, it's from October thru March).
Uh-huh. I already know how absolutely thrilled some of y'all are because you've already got someone lined up or you're already prepared to respond to some erroneous DM from an ex—or "ex". Then there are those who are already dreading the very thought of cuffing season and all of the "extra"—extra expectations, extra pressure, potential extra disillusionment and drama—that it brings. If you're someone who clearly falls into Category B, chin up, my friend.
Yes, cuffing season is inevitable, but there are some things that you can do to make it so much more bearable—for you.
Did You Know That Cuffing Season Ain’t Just Game?
While you might think that cuffing season is all about game, last year, Esquire published a pretty thorough article on the fact that there are some physical and psychological reasons behind it. For starters, since our bodies (both men and women) produce more testosterone during the fall, that makes us hornier.
And with the testosterone surging through our bodies at a heightened level, that means we're also producing less serotonin—a natural hormone that helps to make us feel good. I'm pretty sure you can see how that helps to create the perfect avalanche, so to speak.
Then there are the pressures that come with the holiday season—spending money, seeing family and sometimes going through major shifts on our jobs. It's all enough to make anyone want to climb in bed with someone and not come out, at least until after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The reason why I'm sharing all of this is because if you hate cuffing season because you feel like it is nothing more than media hype or something that some random dude came up with in order to get some (more), maybe what I shared will offer a bit of a different perspective. Believe it or not, there is some merit to cuffing season. Shoot, it's definitely got more backing than Netflix and Chill did.
What Have the Previous Seasons Been Like for You?
I'll be honest. I never really hear couples complain about cuffing season. Nah, they have other things to worry about like if a holiday engagement is going to come up or how to handle family gatherings and professional outings if they're not that serious yet. It's usually us single folks who are perpetually rolling our eyes. If you're doing that right now, even as you're reading this, ask yourself why. Is it because you are always alone during cuffing season? Maybe it's the opposite and you always fall for the lines that brothas send you right around this time of year. Perhaps you got your heart broken over a cuffing season or you feel like it's all about sex over romance.
Maybe it's just me, but I think that the main reason why so many people have an issue with cuffing season is because they feel like it's basically a form of human hunting season. It's not really about making a true connection with another individual so much as it's about using someone in order to get attention and affection. Then, once the warm weather sets in, it's like the relationship—or situationship—never existed.
If that is how you personally feel, I'll admit that I can understand where you are coming from. What I'll also say is you are able to control this year having that kind of outcome. Think about it. If over the next few weeks, you hear from a guy who you pretty much only do during cuffing season, you already know what the deal is, right? If you oblige him, you're agreeing to participating in the pattern. Or, you can ignore his calls and block his emails. It's totally up to you.
I think one of the reasons why a lot of people abhor cuffing season is because they treat it like bad weather. They believe that just because the forecast speaks of it arriving that there is nothing that they can do to avoid it. But the reality is that cuffing season only truly affects you—or "infects" you—if you allow it to.
In other words, if you want no parts of it, leave it alone. Focus on other things. You see what our country is going through right now. There are plenty other ways to distract yourself if you really and truly want to.
Who Says That This Year Has to Be Like All the Rest?
Some women have told me that the reason why they dislike—OK, hate—cuffing season is because it feels like that is the time of year when they are the most alone. Their friends are with someone. Their co-workers are in relationships. If it wasn't for the sweet-yet-totally-cheesy Hallmark movies that run incessantly throughout the holiday season, they wouldn't have an inch of romance in their life.
I get this too. But I still think that some of this is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you loathe cuffing season because you're already predicting how lonely, boring or predictable it's going to be…again, to a large extent, that is totally under your control. Why not host a holiday party at your house? How about asking a guy who you're interested in to one of your office events? Take a road trip with a girlfriend or guy friend. Treat yourself to an off day and then pamper yourself all day. Or do all of the above—more than once.
It's been years since I've been in a relationship. Although singledom has its moments, for the most part, I'm not bothered in the least that I'm not with anyone, though. Mostly it's because I'm too preoccupied with other stuff to give it too much thought. I'm not looking to get "cuffed". It's a ring or no-thing. It's my choice and I'm totally at peace with my decision.
You're human. Therefore, it's OK to want a boo thang during cuffing season or any other time of year. But sitting in the house moping about it while you're listening to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" isn't going to do you much good. Rather than surrendering to the feelings of loneliness, how about making the most of this cuffing season is making it work in your favor? This brings me to my final point.
Why Not “Brand” Your Own Season?
It's not just cuffing season. It's also the fall season. Soon it will be the winter season. The holiday season is approaching too. My point? Other stuff is going on other than the tried-and-true cuffing season. So, why not make this the first year that you brand October-March as something else? It could be "start a business" season, "finish my book season" or "complete my website" season. Then, in honor of whatever goal that you set, you can treat yourself to something special. A personalized cuff bracelet, perhaps? (Etsy has tons of 'em!) That way, whenever you think about cuffing season, it can be connected to achieving goals rather than hooking up with some dude.
And just like that, cuffing season has new meaning and purpose. You just might go from hating it to actually celebrating it (imagine that!). All because you took the focus off of getting—or not getting— with someone and put it onto your own glow up instead. Happy Cuffing Season, girl!
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